Cultural Mentality: English and Mongolian Idioms

Author: Gantsetseg Sanjmyatav (Mandakh University, Mongolia)
Speaker: Gantsetseg Sanjmyatav
Topic: Semiotics and Semiology
CALA 2020 General Session


Much current research has engagement with the semantics of idioms. Here, scholarship has sought to study the semantics of figurative language by drawing on fields such as Linguistics and Anthropology, and Pedagogy. When speakers express idiomatic language during communication, they elicit conceptual meanings, a cognitive process which requires dynamic, situated, and hence real time reassessment of language in its figurative styles.

As we studied, conceptual meanings of idioms in ESL teaching require learners to rethink some of basic notions of meaning, concepts, and reasons those are grounded in the imaginatively structured. With this reason, the aim of this paper is to investigate how cultural competencies were shaped through focusing on comparative study of English and Mongolian idioms in each respective cultural context. In order to reach the research goal the objectives were designed that 1) to study the appropriateness of the Mongolian and English idioms in the relevant cultural situations; 2) to compare Mongolian and English mentality through analyzing idioms; 3) to recommend available approaches to shape cultural competencies for ESL learners through idioms.

The study employs a lexico-semantic framework model, and applies semantic frame theory (Tannen 1993), so to elicit the appropriateness of these culturally relevant idioms. The significance of the study contributes to shape the competent professionals, who are potentially qualified in culture and linguistics, to be met the demand of the 21st century.

Tannen, D (1993). Framing in Discourse. Oxford, U.K. Oxford University Press.

Keywords: idioms, cultural mentality, target language, cultural competency